I title this blog with a quote from David Whyte’s poem, My Daughter Asleep… and I shall end with the complete poem.

Yesterday our daughter, Izze, graduated 8th grade and officially became a high school student. This is a right of passage for kids and adults alike. Who would have thought that it would have gone so fast? But go fast it did, and another milestone has been passed.

Izze heads for her seat in the High School Auditorium.

Izze heads for her seat in the High School Auditorium.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We certainly got to know a great group of kids and parents over these last two years. After four years of home schooling, there was lots of adjustment for us all to make… and it was all good!

Izze spots us in the stands!

Izze spots us in the stands!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Penny Purdy, Izze’s music teacher, read the names and Mr. Roach, the Vice Principal handed out the diplomas.

Two years well spent!

Two years well spent!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We’re sure proud of this kid… but she did the work (with an occasional nudge from Mom).

Diploma in hand, she heads for her seat

Diploma in hand, she heads for her seat

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Nessa and a bunch of the other parents were committed to ‘chaperone’ the dance and after party so I hung around too. What else was I going to do?

Foto bombed in the cafeteria

Foto bombed in the cafeteria

Selfie by Vanessa Kaukonen

There were, and still are, so many feelings and emotions running around my brain I almost don’t know where to begin, but it is plain that life is evolving for my children as it did for me and that is how it must be!

This... is the dang deal!

This... is the dang deal!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

And so, another chapter has closed and a new one is waiting to be followed. I am going to post David Whyte’s beautiful poem yet one more time… and while our daughter, Izze, is a long way from sleeping on my shoulder as an infant, I suspect I will always feel this way.

My Daughter Asleep

Carrying a child,
I carry a bundle of sleeping
future appearances.
I carry my daughter
adrift on my shoulder,
dreaming her slender dreams
and I carry her beneath the window,
watching her moon lit palm open and close
like a tiny folded map,
each line a path that leads where I can’t go,
so that I read her palm not knowing what I read
walk with her in moon light on the landing,
not knowing with whom I walk,
making invisible prayers to go on with her where
I can’t go,
conversing with so many unknowns that must know her more
intimately than I do.

And so to these unspoken shadows and this broad night
I make a quiet request to the great parental darkness
to hold her when I cannot, to comfort her when I am gone,
to help her learn to love the unknown for itself,
to take it gladly like a lantern for the way before her,
to help her see where ordinary light will not help her,
where happiness has fled, where faith will not reach.

My prayer tonight for the great and hidden symmetries of life
to reward this faith I have and twin her passages of loneliness with friendship,
her exiles with home coming, her first awkward steps with promised onward leaps.

May she find in all this, day or night, the beautiful centrality of pure opposites,
may she discover before she grows old, not to choose so easily between past and present,
may she find in one or the other her gifts acknowledged.

And so as I helped to name her, I help to name these powers,
I bring to life what is needed, I invoke the help she’ll want
following those moonlit lines into a future uncradled by me but parented by all I call.

As she grows away from me, may these life lines grow with her, keep her safe,
with my open palm whose lines have run before her to make a safer way,
I hold her smooth cheek and bless her this night into all these other unknown
nights to come.

-David Whyte

…and all these other unknown nights to come!


  1. Comment made on June 10, 2019 by Siân Steed

    Beautiful, Jorma.

  2. Comment made on June 8, 2019 by Adam K

    Chaperoned by a member of Jefferson Airplane! XD

  3. Comment made on June 7, 2019 by Greg martelli

    The night tripper -gone

  4. Comment made on June 6, 2019 by gregg

    oh no dr john now g

  5. Comment made on June 4, 2019 by John B

    Hey Joe alone was worth the price of admission ! w@Tom NY

  6. Comment made on June 4, 2019 by Tom NY

    @John B
    I saw that Arlen Roth show too…. It was loud… He has some tasty licks and grooves, very cool sound. I certainly would attend one of his classes at FUR Peace should he be there to teach.
    Beautiful weather in New York, Hudson Valley and summer is still WEEKS away.
    What a blessed life we have.
    God save the Queen and the President

  7. Comment made on June 3, 2019 by John B

    I was just telling one of the guys here at work about the movie Crossroads and the soundtrack . I knew Ry Cooder and Stevie Vai play on it but never knew that Arlen Roth played on it also. We just saw Arlen at the Ranch about a month ago along with G.E. Smith. I was blown away by Arlen and can’t figure out how I managed to miss this guy. Thanks Jorma for once again broadening my musical horizons.

  8. Comment made on June 3, 2019 by HOGAN

    Congrats Izze…Love the photo bomb picture…You and Vanessa look prouder than a peacock…she’s growing like a weed Jorma, G-d Bless, she is beautiful…
    Enjoy the time now because next year is when all the fun starts..lol..
    The poem is beautiful, having three girls of my own I miss those days when they were little but they still need there mama and they are all grown with kids of their own.

    Take care


  9. Comment made on June 3, 2019 by John B

    Me Too ! @DennisK

  10. Comment made on June 3, 2019 by Dan Nigro

    Indeed great work by all, plenty more joy to come. Congratulations

  11. Comment made on June 1, 2019 by DennisK

    Well done mom, dad and Izze! I still have the hand-made paracord bracelet that she sold me at Arts and Minds (2016). Lovely young lady!

  12. Comment made on June 1, 2019 by AndyK

    Mazel tov!

  13. Comment made on May 31, 2019 by Todd

    How in the heck were you cleared to chaperone the after party? You must not have been vetted. “Here kid…have more punch and cake…”

  14. Comment made on May 31, 2019 by John B

    High School ? How the heck did that happen so fast! Congratulations to all …..

  15. Comment made on May 31, 2019 by carey georgas

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful poem. That’s one every parent should read. Best wishes for Izze as she moves into the next chapter of her life. Or should that be the next stanza?

  16. Comment made on May 31, 2019 by Tom NY

    ‘Making invisible prayers to go on with her where
    you can’t go.’
    Keep pressing on Jorma and Vanessa and children.

  17. Comment made on May 31, 2019 by Jim Bacon

    Wow, what a poem and love your blog Jorma, so generous of you to share such a personal and joyous occasion with everyone that many of us, if we are lucky, have also experienced but perhaps have not reflected so lovingly and deeply upon – my daughter Amelia is in Madagascar right traveling alone to volunteer on a work/farm project – never thought I’d have a daughter interested in going to Africa – you never know what lies ahead and that beautiful poem says it all – Thanks and congrats to Izze and Mom and Dad – Jim

  18. Comment made on May 30, 2019 by Phil Nola

    Congratulations to Izze!! You all must be very proud!

  19. Comment made on May 30, 2019 by Joey

    What a blessing Jorma!

  20. Comment made on May 30, 2019 by Michael

    Beautiful post and congratulations, now, and what a coup, if only Hot Tuna were scheduled to play at that after graduation party!
    Well done Izze, well done!

  21. Comment made on May 30, 2019 by johno

    So glad you get to spend so much time at home with your beautiful family.

  22. Comment made on May 30, 2019 by eaglesteve

    Congrats Jorma and Vanessa, and the star, Izze.

  23. Comment made on May 30, 2019 by crndl

    beautiful post; i remember seeing pix of her when she was a baby. deservedly proud parents, nicely done jorma 🙂

  24. Comment made on May 30, 2019 by mikie

    Both my sons went thru that ritual in that auditorium – awesome that your girl has now, too. I recall the blogs when she was just coming into your family. Congrats.
    BTW, looks like she does a good photo-bomb! m

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